New Zealand cricketing great Richard Hadlee has recently undergone surgery for bowel cancer but is expected to make a full recovery, his wife Dianne Hadlee said in a statement on Wednesday. "Last month, Richard had a routine, three-year colonoscopy, and we discovered that he has bowel cancer. He has since had an operation to remove the tumour. This operation went extremely well and he has made an excellent recovery from surgery," Dianne Hadlee said in the statement.
As a safeguard the 66-year-old fast bowling legend would soon commence chemotherapy treatment and "it is expected that, in time, he will have a full recovery," she added.
Born on July 3, 1951, Hadlee is regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time and was the first to take 400 Test wickets. By the time he retired in 1990, he had played 86 Tests and taken 431 wickets at 22.29. His best bowling figures of 9/52 came against Australia in Brisbane in 1985.
He was also a hard-hitting batsman with a Test career total of 3,124 runs, including two centuries and 15 half-centuries, at an average of 27.16. Hadlee also represented New Zealand in 115 ODIs claiming 158 wickets and scored 1751 runs with a highest score of 79.
He made his Test debut for the Kiwis against Pakistan at Wellington in 1973 and played his last Test against England at Birmingham in July 1990.
Hadlee, who retired in 1990 at the age of 39, was knighted in the same year for his services to cricket.